Hiring Bot vs. Applicant Tracking System

screening, chatbots, recruiting, hiring

Phil Chatterton
by : Phil Chatterton

RPA (robotic process automation) has become a critical tool in the hiring process but does that come at the cost of making the whole thing feel less personal and less engaging? That really depends on your approach. If you use a bot to assist you in the top-of-the-funnel hiring process instead of (or in addition to) an applicant tracking system (ATS) then you have the opportunity to save the candidate time, gather real information, assess them against the other respondents and sell your company all at the same time.

A traditional ATS doesn’t require much effort to interact with as a candidate. In addition, the candidate who is willing to work just a little can trick and ATS by positioning words on their resume in such a way as to make the ATS see them as a better fit than they actually are. The ATS is also making assumptions about their skills based on what is on their resume. It is not asking a direct question which requires a direct answer. As a result, you can “interpret” a job posting as opposed to being called to the mat on a specific topic.

For example, you can put the words HTML or Management on your resume. An ATS might think that you have experience coding HTML and that you have management experience. A bot can ask “are you an experienced HTML developer and can you provide a portfolio of your work?” or “How many employees have you been directly responsible for managing?”. The answers to these questions might be quite different from the assumptions that an ATS makes.

That means with an ATS cannot assure you if someone wants the job, if they can do the job or if they are a good fit. That isn’t to say that all ATS is a poor use of time, however, must people do not use their ATS the way it was intended because they do not have the time or are not willing to make the effort. As Jackye Clayton points out in Recruiting Daily:

“you’ve got to accept the fact that even though you’ve spent years demoing, testing, selecting, implementing, configuring and tweaking your Applicant Tracking System, you don’t really use it for anything...”

How useful is something if it isn’t used correctly? Technically you can use a Ferrari as a planter and you could say that the Ferrari was in use … but is that a good use of your time and money? Didn’t think so.

A bot, however, requires engagement which is proactive and more authentic. A bot can also do a better job of asking direct skills related questions and it can also ask direct open-ended intelligent questions like “describe 3 aspects of companies culture you have worked for that you did NOT like”. Questions like these encourage candidates to provide authentic information that is not packaged which show their cultural fit. According to Forbes:

“ Assessing the job requirement, the conversation and resume details, the recruitment chatbot can decide whether a candidate fits the open position or not.”

In addition, a bot can represent your culture via the things it says. The bot can be funny, creative, information or dry depending on your needs. An ATS does not interact with candidates so it is not engaging at all. As a candidate, you simply receive a “thank you for your submission” message and then nothing until they speak to a person. That can be a lonely wait and as such it encourages people to apply all over the place.

The other key aspect to the hiring experience is the time to reach the next step. At the end of the automated interview, the bot can immediately provide you with a next step (or not) so your time as a candidate is not wasted. This makes the process convenient and straightforward and shows that your company takes the persons time seriously. In addition, the interview a bot can provide funny facts about the company in between questions. This gives the candidate an idea about the culture and provides a way to sell the candidate on working there while they are saving time.

Once all the interviews are completed (which can even happen simultaneously) the candidates are sorted. Some are declined because they do not meet the minimum job requirements. Others are ranked according to their answers. HR can then quickly review the responses of the top 25% of responses and read their open-ended responses to get a better idea of their fit for the position.

As a next step, recruiters can also deploy a bot-based reference checking process. They can send a link to a reference and that link will lead the reference do answer a few questions about the candidate. Those reference responses are then also ranked. The two scores are compared and the top candidates receive a follow-up interview from HR or the hiring manager in order to proceed.

You are then talking to the best folks who applied in very little time. Time, as we know, is the enemy to securing top talent. The longer a process takes or the less engaging it is, the more likely it is for us to lose the best candidates. As Stacey at The Vet recruiter puts it:

“If you take too long during the hiring process, if that process is filled with a lack of communication and feedback, and if that process is bogged down in any way, the candidate might view that as representative of your organization overall.”

So in short, a bot can provide a better more engaging hiring experience in less time. Bots will get you a higher response rate and provide data which supports your hiring decisions. Ultimately you will get to spend real quality time with the top candidates in order to choose which one will be the best fit for your team.

Want to try a great recruitment bot for an extremely attractive price? Try Warmcall for free for a month and then pay $20 a month per bot. Go to https://www.warmcall.com/hiring to watch a video and learn more.

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